ALUMNA KRISTEN STOKER (’98) COMES FULL-CIRCLE FROM STUDENT TO GRADE 3 TEACHER
There are things Kristen Stoker (’98), alumna of Hanalani Schools, remembers fondly about her school days: practicing volleyball and basketball at Kunia and Whitmore Gym without air conditioning. Her light blue uniform skirt with the white, button-down blouse. The thought-provoking Spiritual Emphasis Week sermons. Her math and science classes. But above all things, she remembers the kindness and passion from her teachers – how these instructors wanted her to learn and grow, how much they cared for her, and their deep desire to help her mature into an adult who loved and served the Lord.
It was memories like these that helped her and her husband make the decision to not only return to Hanalani Schools as teachers, but to send their own children to Hanalani. “There have been so many developments and changes over the years (praise the Lord for air conditioning in all the classrooms and the Student Activities Center!), but there are the things that haven’t changed, the things that I love so much. This is the reason my husband and I decided to send our children to Hanalani,” said Kristen.
Now that she’s a teacher, she actively participates in many conversations and decisions that take place behind-the-scenes at Hanalani Schools. She has a greater appreciation now that she sees how teachers and administrators spend time, energy and love for their students, and she considers it an honor to be able to return to her alma mater and teach alongside many of her former teachers and the current staff who love God.
Kristen, who attended Hanalani from 1st through 12th grade, says she still has many great childhood friends that she keeps in touch with. “Although it has been many years since high school, and life is busier now, it is such a blessing to be able to meet up and keep in touch with many of my ‘old’ friends,” she said. She hopes her own children will also make lifelong friends at Hanalani Schools.
Kristen has an inspiring story, progressing from student to teacher, and now, a parent to Hanalani children. “It is a blessing to train our students to not only receive a strong academic education, but to also be responsible learners, faithful friends and hard workers who can be problem solvers, and most of all, to be lovers and followers of God. We are, and I pray that we continue to be, Hanalani, work of Heaven.”